Pasta is undoubtedly the most iconic Italian dish currently being prepared around the world. Whether it’s sun-dried tomato pasta salad or three-cheese pasta, it’s a particularly versatile dish that will bend to everyone’s taste buds. However, there are some very famous varieties that have become symbols of Italian cuisine. One of them is undoubtedly Carbonara which has undergone different transformations in different countries. To delight you with a traditional taste, we’ll show you how to make authentic carbonara pasta and give you some clever tips to succeed without missteps. Focus!
What pasta for carbona?
Whether new to Italian cooking or not, everyone knows that there are different types of pasta and they are interchangeable in many recipes. But is this really the case with pasta carbona? We immediately answer you: No! Made with eggs, cheese and pancetta, the traditional recipe uses spaghetti, as its texture and long shape allow the sauce to hang well. Tagliatelle is also an option, but if you prefer an authentic experience, get the classic spaghetti.
Read on to discover the authentic carbonara pasta recipe, as well as our tips and tricks for making it like a true Italian!
Traditional carbonara pasta recipe
Materials to get:
- 340 grams of spaghetti
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 113 g diced pancetta
- Again ground pepper
Method of preparation:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve one cup of cooking water. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs before incorporating the cheeses and set aside. Next, heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta in it, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. Transfer the spaghetti to the same skillet and coat with the meat juices. Add 1/2 cup reserved water and turn off heat.
Now it’s time to work quickly: Add the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta and stir until well combined and the sauce is glossy. Add cooking water if needed. Stir in the cooked pancetta and toss to combine. Finally, distribute in bowls, pepper and serve immediately.
Our 6 tips make carbonara pasta like a pro!
Even the most experienced often find carbonara preparation a bit daunting. If you can’t whip it up the first time, don’t get discouraged, it can really be a hassle. Instead, stay sane and take your time! To better help you succeed with this iconic dish, the editorial staff offers you some clever tips to keep in mind below.
Grate the cheese yourself
The first critical step to a successful pasta carbonator is to grate the cheese yourself and avoid pre-packaged commercial products. Why? Then, they are coated with a powder that prevents them from sticking together and which can irritate the flavors. On the other hand, hand-grated cheeses just before cooking will melt better into the sauce and impart better flavor. It is essential to opt for a high quality product.
Use egg yolks
Italians usually use egg yolks for very creamy sauces, as the whites make it watery. However, using too many egg yolks will result in a very creamy sauce. Here, the solution is to find the perfect ratio. It supports five egg yolks and one whole egg.
What to do with the remaining egg whites? Instead of throwing them away, consider making meringues or the famous pavlova recipe!
Eggs at room temperature
The third important tip is still about eggs. So, for the sauce to be homogeneous, they must be at room temperature. Why? Adding cold eggs to hot pasta can turn the sauce into scrambled eggs.
Save the pasta cooking water
A little pasta cooking water is added to the sauce to make it tastier and to thicken it if necessary.
Turn off the fire
This is probably the most important step in making carbonara. You must turn off the heat before adding the eggs and cheese, otherwise you risk overcooking your sauce and turning it into scrambled eggs. The still hot pasta and the water cooking it will cook the egg yolks.
Prepare everything in advance
To make your carbonara pasta like a pro, it’s important to have all the ingredients and utensils close at hand. Prepare them in advance. The key moment is especially adding the eggs and cheese and you have to work fast. Once they are combined, stir quickly and don’t stop until you get the consistency of thick cream.